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Premier League

  • 13 May 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 40742
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Chelsea - Blackburn Preview: Relegated Rovers hoping to bow out with first win in 11 against the Blues

The hosts have one eye on the upcoming Champions League final in Munich, meaning the Lancashire outfit could have a chance of leaving the Premier League on a high

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

CHELSEA

Turnbull
Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Bertrand
Romeu, Essien, Ramires
Sturridge, Torres, Malouda

BLACKBURN ROVERS

Robinson
Lowe, Dann, Givet, M Olsson
Hoilett, Dunn, N'Zonzi, Pedersen
Formica
Yakubu

With the Champions League final just around the corner, Chelsea are likely to rest as many key players as possible. Gary Cahill and David Luiz were both ruled out on Friday afternoon, meaning John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic - both suspended for the clash with Bayern Munich - will likely partner one another in central defence.

Elsewhere, there could be a chance for a number of fringe players to impress interim boss Roberto Di Matteo, with the likes of Oriol Romeu, Florent Malouda and Daniel Sturridge all fighting for their future at Stamford Bridge. John Obi Mikel faces a late fitness test on a knee injury, with Ramires - another player banned for the final in Munich - likely to take the Nigerian's place in midfield.
PARTING SHOT
8.0 188bet are offering 8.0 on Blackburn to beat Chelsea on Sunday.


Blackburn will be hoping to have Gael Givet, David Dunn and Paul Robinson fit, although the latter two will face fitness tests ahead of the trip to the Bridge. With their fate already sealed after last Monday's defeat to Wigan, the visitors will most likely field a strong side to take on a second-string Chelsea in order to bow out of the Premier League on a high. Yakubu and Junior Hoilett are expected to start, with both players possibly playing their final matches in the club's colours as other top-flight clubs begin to circle.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Chelsea’s sixth-placed finish was confirmed during Tuesday’s defeat to Liverpool, marking their lowest final Premier League position in a decade.
  • The Blues have won just one of their last five Premier League outings - a 6-1 demolition of QPR at Stamford Bridge.
  • Tuesday's 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool matches Chelsea’s biggest losing margin in the league during the reign of Roman Abramovich.
  • Last Monday’s defeat to Wigan confirmed Blackburn’s relegation, and means they will finish the campaign with fewer than 35 points for the first time since 1979.
  • The Lancashire outfit have lost seven of their last eight matches, and have failed to win in 16 visits to the capital.
  • Yakubu (pictured right) has scored 16 goals in the league this season; only Andy Johnson in the 2004/05 campaign with Crystal Palace has ever scored more for a relegated side.
  • Blackburn have failed to score in their last five visits to Stamford Bridge.
  • Chelsea have lost just one of their last 17 meetings with Rovers in the Premier League, and are unbeaten in 11.

Players to watch

D. Sturridge

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
After impressing in the early part of the campaign, Sturridge’s form has been patchy at best despite his side performing better as a whole. With the likes of Didier Drogba and Juan Mata set to be rested this weekend, this match is a great opportunity for the England youngster to stake a claim for a starting berth in Munich next weekend.

Sturridge was one of several poor performers at Anfield on Tuesday, so a strong showing against Blackburn is essential if he is to worm his way into Di Matteo’s plans for taking on Bayern. The former Manchester City forward remains Chelsea’s second-highest scorer this season, however, and could well prove a threat against a forlorn-looking Blackburn side.

D. Hoilett

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
With Blackburn’s fate already sealed, Sunday’s match will give the likes of Hoilett a chance to bow out of the Premier League in some degree of style – and possibly attract some suitors.  The 21-year-old has been one of Steve Kean’s stand-out performers in a largely-uninspiring season, striking up a strong partnership with top scorer Yakubu as Rovers have battled in vain against the drop.

Hoilett’s contract is up at the end of the current campaign, and with a string of mooted admirers – most notably Arsenal – waiting in the wings for his signature, a classy showing against Chelsea could see him edge closer to securing a contract with another top-flight club.

Editor's Prediction

With both sides already consigned to sixth and 19th place respectively, Sunday’s clash has all the hallmarks of an exhibition match. However, both sides are without a win in five and were hugely uninspiring in their last outings, so one would hope there will be two sets of players with a point to prove.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Rovers might fancy their chances; many of Chelsea’s players already have one eye on next Saturday, and Steve Kean’s side will be desperate for a famous win so as not to bow out of the Premier League with a whimper. But with history on their side in this fixture, and with a number of players eager to impress Di Matteo against an injury-ravaged visiting defence, it is hard to see past a comfortable win for the hosts on Sunday afternoon.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Chelsea

Blackburn Rovers

Wins
4
1
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Chelsea FC CHE
Chelsea FC Chelsea
Draw
Blackburn Rovers FC BBR
Blackburn Rovers FC Blackburn Rovers
82%

Top 3 Predictions

Chelsea FC CHE
3 - 0
Blackburn Rovers FC BBR
Chelsea FC CHE
8 - 0
Blackburn Rovers FC BBR
Chelsea FC CHE
2 - 0
Blackburn Rovers FC BBR

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